We have lived and traveled ALL over the world for my job and Tim’s (former) pro hockey career, but the place where we decided to settle down, earned a spot in our souls for good reason–about 1000 reasons, that is! North Carolina has been SOOO good to us, and I can’t imagine building our forever home anywhere else. Leaving family and friends behind in Canada wasn’t an easy decision, but since North Carolina is so incredible, our families love coming to visit so it’s a win-win! Although we’d love for all of our parents and sibs to live locally (I’m talking to YOU, Shockey and Brent fam!), there are so many incredible things to love about North Carolina that makes it totally worth living here, so here’s my list.
Reason 1: The People
When Tim and I first got to Raleigh, it didn’t take long for us to realize the people in North Carolina were different in the BEST possible way. This state is filled with people who love the outdoors, conservation, God and one another. There is a sense of community here that even made us as Canadian newcomers feel so welcome. From the incredible hospitality to the abundance of opportunities for our growing family, we knew this place could be it when we made friendships and became part of a community that truly felt like home.
Reason 2: The Climate
Can we talk about how amaaaaazing it is to have all four seasons?! Okay, so sometimes we do get them all in one day here in North Carolina (looking at you, March and early April!!) but it’s so nice for the entire year here. We rarely get snow here–which is a huge bonus for me, because even though I’m Canadian I grew up on an island out west and didn’t see much. Tim grew up on the eastern side of Canada and spent most of his childhood shoveling snow…but he doesn’t miss it, that’s for sure!! Summer basically starts in late April and stretches well into October most years. We often have our most amazing evenings as a family just by doing something SO simple and going outside to be together, and I couldn’t love that more! And GRILLING SEASON is year-round – we’ve stopped putting a cover on our Traeger because we use it so often. Don’t even get me STARTED on how gorgeous Fall is here: it seriously gives off the most beautiful colors and is such an incredible sight to see in your own backyard. God seriously spent a bit of extra time creating the autumn sunset in North Carolina.
Reason 3: Easy Access to EVERYTHING!
Since the weather is basically perfect, we have the opportunity to get outside a lot–and we find adventuring in our new home to be super easy because it’s so accessible! We can be on white sand beaches in two hours to swim and deep sea fish, or in the mountains in three hours to hike, hunt, fly fish, and camp. The most notable thing about this is that we live in the capital city, which has a really large population and all of the great stuff that comes with that…but, when it’s time to get away and back to nature, it’s super easy to do that here in North Carolina.
(Please enjoy this picture of baby Leni. Holy smokes, the cuteness is REAL.)
Reason 4: Two Words: Foodie. Paradise.
Y’all know I LOVE food, and we’re raising Leni to love it (and appreciate where it comes from, of course!) as well. North Carolina’s insanely ideal climate means long growing seasons for fresh produce, and ample local stores that focus on North Carolina-grown products. That is so important to us when we can get it, since I grew up with my parents cultivating our own fruits, veggies and my dad hunting and fishing for our meat. Also, the wineries here fly under the radar but they’re incredible! Although I’ve been either pregnant or busy for most of the time we’ve lived here, the only winery we’ve been to is Richard Childress’ (which is amazing!) but I have big plans to explore alllllll the vineyards once Baby #2 is here.
If you want to see Tim, Leni and I explore some of our new FAVORITE things about living in North Carolina, check out our new series “Eva Shockey’s Outdoor 101” and consider this incredible place for your next adventures. I had my first fly fishing experience, which was way more difficult than it looks but SO much fun. We also visited Grandfather Mountain, (and I shared tips about toddler snacks while outdoors and hiking!!) and Pisgah National Forest, while I also somehow tricked Tim into wilderness yoga (which I think he secretly loved). We were in awe of the natural beauty surrounding us as we took a road trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and came home to bass fish on the incredible Jordan Lake right here in Raleigh. North Carolina has something incredible for everyone and we are SO lucky to call it home!
Speaking of adventures–there’s A LOT of fun stuff coming to the blog soon!! We can’t wait to keep adventuring, living, and sharing it with you.